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Buying The Right Software Is Getting Harder as Starting a Software Company Gets Easier


15 years ago, it was a lot harder to start a software company.  In fact, 3 years ago it was a lot harder.  With the rise of AWS, APIs, easy to learn MVC frameworks (Rails, Django, etc) and all the rest – it’s fairly easy for anyone to get a software company off the ground these days.

Of course, building a software company is more than just creating a product.  You have to create a product that someone wants, sell it, support it, and evolve it.

But, the fact that creating software solutions is easier means there are so many more vendors out there.  It becomes very hard for companies to pick the right vendors when looking at software to run their business.  From CRM to HR software, the landscapes get more complex each year.

That’s why I’ve recently started SelectSoftware.  We’re a new site that aims to help people find and buy the right software for their business.  We’re kind of like NerdWallet or WireCutter, except for b2b software.

There are crowd review sites out there that rate various software tools.  However, these reviews tend to be positively biased as the initial reviewers are usually paid to provide their guidance.

Our goal at SelectSoftware is to help companies cut through the noise and save the first 15-20 hours of research when looking at new software to buy.  My hope is to keep everyone posted on our progress through this blog!

Employer Branding is more important than ever


Company culture is one of the most important aspects of recruiting millennial job seekers (and everyone else for that matter).  The most forward thinking human resources departments are now spending time to design amazing corporate cultures, and then communicate why they have a best place to work to talent.  Sometimes this also comes top down from the CEO.

As a job seeker, it’s really important to do your research on companies before applying.  Glassdoor, employee testimonials, social media, and your personal networks are all great places to glean the information you  need to understand whether or not this is a company you want to work for.

When you do this research, you’re uncovering the company’s employer brand – what is it like the work at this company, and what is this company doing to tell the world what their employee value proposition is.  When you find a company that’s a good fit for you, you’re going to have a more in depth and thoughtful interview process, and stay at the company longer.

Of course, many companies have poor employer brands.  Sometimes this is because it’s just not great to work there.  Other times, it’s because their talent acquisition team hasn’t had time to figure out how to show the world what’s unique about their company.

So, advice for companies is to pay attention to your employer branding efforts, online reviews, and generally how job seekers are perceiving your company relative to your talent competition.

On the job seeker side, like we said before, read reviews, go to the career page, check them out on social, talk to your friends, and try to read between the lines.  Good luck!

Finding the best company for you


Figuring out what you want to do is hard.  And, many times figuring out the right company to work for is even harder.

So, you want to be a software engineer and love to code eh?  Do you want to work at a big tech company like FB, Google?  What about a startup?  What about a lab like MIT’s Lincoln Labs where you’re mostly doing government work?  There are a lot of options!  Maybe academia is right for you….

I’m not throwing out these sorts of scenarios to stress anyone out.  I’m bringing up a simple fact of life….because where you work is basically as important to what you work on.  Maybe even more so.

The absolute best way to figure out where to work is to get on LinkedIn, and find out who you know at a given company.  Many times these 1:1 coffee chats are a really good way to get the information you’ll need to determine if a company makes sense.

If you can’t get that sort of information first hand, you can learn about the skills you’ll get at a company, how to prep for interviews, what a job is like day to day, and general information about a career path online too.  One of the best sites to accomplish this is LifeGuides, which was started by a few Harvard Business School kids a few years ago.

Of course, you can always try to find a blog that will tell you about these things as well :).  Until  next time!

Where your career will take you


Have you thought much about how you career fits into your life?  If not, here’s your wake up call.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a type a person, sorry to say it :).  That means that the work part of your work/life will consume a lot of your time going forward.  If you look back at your past, you’ll realize that this is true for your life up until now too.

What you’ll also realize is that this isn’t a bad thing.  I bet a lot of those things that are “work” you really enjoyed doing.  Study body government, running the school play, editor of the school newspaper…many people would find these to be a time suck from their “life.”  But, I bet you didn’t, at least not totally.

So, what that tells me is that you need to find something going forward that you liked as much as being class president, or whatever your bag was back in the day.  You need to find the thing that will put money on the table, satisfy your need for achievement, and give you satisfaction.

Of course, this is really hard to find!  Some of us will realize that being a student is pretty awesome, and go off to become a professor after a nice long phd.  But, for most of us, it’s going to take a while.  That’s ok, we can enjoy the journey.

Just remember, whatever you’re trying out at the time (thought an internship, first job, grad school, etc), have the thought in the back of your mind “how will this career fit into the life I want?”  Because chances are, you’re type A, and you’re going to work a lot, but that means you also have the ability to find something that fits!  Good luck.

What goes on here


Hello world!

This will be a blog about career related topics for those in the Harvard community, or those that stumble upon it through the interwebs.

I’m a HBS graduate (2014), and I am really passionate about helping people in their careers through the shared learnings of others.  I think that especially at a place like Cambridge, you can learn a lot from those around you.  The internet is a nice scaler of this sort of information flow, and I hope my contributions will be helpful to others.

Please look for a real post in the next day or so.  In the meantime, thanks for having me 🙂


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